Jesus, Do You Hear Me?

Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Sirach 1:1-10

All wisdom comes from the LORD
and with him it remains forever, and is before all time
The sand of the seashore, the drops of rain,
the days of eternity: who can number these?
Heaven’s height, earth’s breadth,
the depths of the abyss: who can explore these?
Before all things else wisdom was created;
and prudent understanding, from eternity.
The word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom
and her ways are everlasting.
To whom has wisdom’s root been revealed?
Who knows her subtleties?
To whom has the discipline of wisdom been revealed?
And who has understood the multiplicity of her ways?
There is but one, wise and truly awe-inspiring,
seated upon his throne:
There is but one, Most High
all-powerful creator-king and truly awe-inspiring one,
seated upon his throne and he is the God of dominion.
It is the LORD; he created her through the Holy Spirit,
has seen her and taken note of her.
He has poured her forth upon all his works,
upon every living thing according to his bounty;
he has lavished her upon his friends.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 93:1AB, 1CD-2, 5

R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.

Gospel: Mark 9:14-29

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John
and approached the other disciples,
they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them.
Immediately on seeing him,
the whole crowd was utterly amazed.
They ran up to him and greeted him.
He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”
Someone from the crowd answered him,
“Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down;
he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.
I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”
He said to them in reply,
“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.”
They brought the boy to him.
And when he saw him,
the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions.
As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around
and foam at the mouth.
Then he questioned his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”
He replied, “Since childhood.
It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him.
But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him,
“‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering,
rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it,
“Mute and deaf spirit, I command you:
come out of him and never enter him again!”
Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out.
He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!”
But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private,
“Why could we not drive the spirit out?”
He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”


This Gospel stirs within me an impossible ache.

I ache for the boy and his battered body.

I ache for his father, desperate to help the son he so loves.

I ache for the realness of the Divine Physician, who takes the boy by the hand and makes him whole.

I ache with questions, desperate for understanding and direction. Like the woman who hemorrhaged for twlve years, my body is riddled with pain and dysfunction. I’m prisoner to a chronic illness in which I am just well enough to look and act like a healthy person to the outside world . . . but behind closed doors I am crushed by pain day after day. For over fifteen years I’ve cried out in the presence of my inner circle, begged God for mercy and healing like the boy’s father in today’s Gospel: Please, Jesus. Please! I believe! Help my unbelief!

I rejoice for the boy today. I feel the epic relief and tears of thanksgiving streaming down his father’s face. I behold the compassion of the Divine Healer. And I stand with the Apostles in their frustration, their questioning, asking, “Why couldn’t we do more?!”

I ask the same of Jesus now—agonizing over my next step, wondering in woeful resignation, what more can be done?

And yes, I’m tempted in my aching desperation to believe the lie that if the Divine Healer was willing to heal this boy upon first request, it must be that He doesn’t doesn’t care to answer me as I utter my millionth whispered plea for His healing hand.

But the truth rooted deep within insists that He sees. He hears. And truly, He is here now. Even if I’m not met with the immediate answer of physical healing, He still reaches out and takes my hand in His. Whether it’s to take action or to walk with me in solidarity, He is holding me in the same compassion He he held that suffering boy.

Maybe answers and effective treatment will come with the next appointment. Maybe Divine healing still waits down the road. Maybe my healing is not meant to be one of a withering body, but a cleansing of the soul. Or maybe, my mind is too small to even consider what God has in mind.

That’s the ringer.

Some knowledge is reserved for Him alone. Sometimes we’re too spiritually immature; sometimes He knows we won’t be able to see the big picture enough to understand.

We’re not meant to have all the answers.

So I continue to ache, but with hope—with reassurance that He hears, He is here, and that as I continue to ask boldly like the boy’s Father, God will answer in His way, and indeed at the right time.

[Tweet “The truth rooted deep within insists that He is here now. // @PosImperfect”]

Are you stuck in a time of waiting? Do you feel like God doesn’t hear? Tell Him now that you believe He is here and listening, then and boldly ask again for His guidance—knowing that He will answer in His way, and help our disbelief if we truly seek to believe.

Megan Hjelmstad is a wife, mom, writer, and sometimes soldier whose real passion is equal parts faith and chocolate. You can find out more about her here.

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